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    Ken Clark

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    The Pattern Is Changing-Here Come the Storms

    January 11, 2010; 11:53 AM ET

    Many people have lost hope in El Nino and the forecast of a wetter-than-normal rainfall season for the Southwest. This despite many postings by me urging patience as we are just now entering the peak of the rainfall season. This despite the fact that rainfall amounts in California and snow in the Sierra are not that far behind normal, and in some cases are at normal even as of today, also pointed out in my blog. A week ago, I had a posting conjecturing that the pattern was about to change as the Greenland block broke down in the following 6- to 10-day period. El Nino is still going strong and is classified right now a moderate El Nino. Meanwhile, other indices that have kept the stormy pattern away from much of California and the Southwest are now trending strongly to a stormier pattern.

    It now looks like next week we could be seeing a series of major storms come into California and the Southwest. This is agreed upon by all the models that go out that far. All indices are pointing toward a stormy period that begins on Sunday but really gets going in the Tuesday through Friday time period. Several storms over this period are forecast to bring heavy to very heavy rain and snow over all of California and especially strong toward the later half of next week. Even the following week another impressive storm is on the charts.

    My fellow good friend and colleague Joe Bastardi have talked, and we agree that we are entering a period that there will be a 10- to 15-day period of stormy weather coming. Joe even states that 75% of the winter rainfall may come in this time.

    This is not unusual in an El Nino. The rain does not continuously fall all winter to give the expected rainfall. It comes in bursts of storms. We had one burst back in the first half of December. It now looks like another burst is coming.

    I will have more details on this as we go through the week. In the meantime, a storm moving through California tomorrow into Wednesday will bring moderate rain amounts to northern and central California but only light amounts in the south. The Sierra will likely pick up a couple of feet of snow above 6,500 feet. Only expect spotty precipitation in southern Nevada and northern Arizona and probably little, if anything, in the south. Once this storm leaves, a ridge will build again until the pattern begins its change by next week. A round of Santa Ana winds also seem likely developing Wednesday night into Thursday.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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